Aolib.comFragment of Photochrom print of the front of Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany (ca. 1897)

A Campfire Girl's Test of Friendship »


By Jane L. Stewart

And, sure enough, when the Camp Fire Girls went out on the porch in a minute, they saw advancing the private school girls, whose snobbishness had nearly ruined their stay at Camp Sunset. Marcia Bates, who had been rescued with her friend, Gladys Cooper, acted as spokesman for them.

“We’ve come to tell you that we’ve all decided we were nasty and acted like horrid snobs,” she said. “We have found out that you’re nice girls–nicer than we are. And we’re very grateful–of course I am, especially–for you helping us. And so we want you to accept these little presents we’ve brought for you.”

CHAPTER II

TROUBLE SMOOTHED AWAY

Probably none of the Camp Fire Girls had ever been so surprised in their lives as when they heard the object of this utterly unexpected visit. Marcia’s eyes were rather blurred while she was speaking, and anyone could see that it was a hard task she had assumed.

It is never easy to confess that one has been in the wrong, and it was particularly hard for these girls, whose whole campaign against the Camp Fire party had been based on pride and a false sense of their own superiority, which, of course, had existed only in their imaginations.

For a moment no one seemed to know what to do or say. Strangely enough, it was Dolly, who had resented the previous attitude of the rich girls more than any of her companions, who found by instinct the true solution.

She didn’t say a word; she simply ran forward impulsively and threw her arms about Marcia’s neck. Then, and not till then, as she kissed the friend with whom she had quarreled, did she find words.

“You’re an old dear, Marcia!” she cried. “I knew you wouldn’t keep on hating us when you knew us better–and you’ll forgive me, won’t you, for playing that horrid trick with the mice?”

Dolly had broken the ice, and in a moment the stiffness of the two groups of girls was gone, and they mingled, talking and laughing naturally.

“I don’t know what the presents you brought are–you haven’t shown them to us yet,” said Dolly, with a laugh. “But I’m sure they must be lovely, and as for accepting them, why, you just bet we will!”

“You know,” said Marcia a little apologetically, “there aren’t any real stores up here, and we couldn’t get what we would really have liked, but we just did the best we could. Girls, get those things out!”

And then a dozen blankets were unrolled, beautifully woven Indian blankets, such as girls love to use for their dens, as couch covers and for hangings on the walls. Dolly exclaimed with delight as she saw hers.

“Heavens! And you act as if they weren’t perfectly lovely!” she cried. “Why, Marcia, how can you talk as if they weren’t the prettiest things! If that’s what you call just doing the best you can, I’m afraid to think of what you’d have got for us if you’d been able to pick out whatever you wanted. It would have been something so fine that we’d have been afraid to take it, I’m sure.”

“Well, we thought perhaps you’d find them useful if you’re going on this tramp of yours,” said Marcia, blushing with pleasure. “And I’m ever so glad you like them, if you really do, because I helped to pick them out. There’s one for each of you, and then we’ve got a big Mackinaw jacket for Miss Mercer, so that she’d have something different.”

“I can’t tell you how happy this makes me!” said Eleanor, swallowing a little hard, for she was evidently deeply touched. “I don’t mean the presents, Marcia, though they’re lovely, but the spirit in which you all bring them.”

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